Two gatherings took place on Friday in Ljubljana, Slovenia – both pro and anti-refugees.
Protesters participating in far right protests demanded from their government to close borders completely and “defend the country from Muslim immigrants as they could change the identity of Slovenia”, while participants of the pro-refugee protest asked for the opening of borders and showing more understanding for refugees.
Two groups were separated by several hundred meters and no incidents took place. The pro-refugee protests were organized by Anti-Racist league.
“The policy of closed borders is responsible for hundreds of deaths at Europe’s borders. Cultural differences are true wealth and unfounded fears are driven by fear and intolerance”, was one of the messages of the gathering.
Several musicians performed for the antifascist protests and the crowd chanted “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!”. One of the bands performing was a Bosnian band Dubioza Kolektiv, known trough the region for its support to civil society and antifascist actions.
After the music program, a play was performed for the audience with a three penguins and a message “Penguin never lets another penguin to stand in the rain”.
Member of the band Puntarji, who has spent some time helping the refugees in Croatia said: “There were ten of us at the border. It was the worst day of my life, but also the most beautiful. The smile of a child who brightens up when you give him a teddy bear – we saw all the good of this world”.
Musican Jani Kovačić stated out that Slovenes were the first victims of fascism.
The pro-refugees gathering was organized as part of the Festival of open borders, which will continue today in Slovenia. Around 300 protesters participated in each protest.